Decoding Essential Foundation for Reading

stock photo of kidsDecoding is an essential reading skill and the foundation of reading instruction. The brain translates print into speech by rapid recognition of letter combinations to sounds.  The brain recognizes patterns.  Phonics is used in teaching this skill.  With phonics you look at the whole word, breaking down to beginning sounds, ending sounds and context clues.  Or you can do the reverse by building from one letter to a word.  Phonics is the code to cracking reading.

Readers Lacking Decoding Skills

Teachers’ view:

  • difficulty matching letters and their sounds
  • guessing at words based on first few letters
  • student doesn’t recognize patterns they have been taught in class

Parents’ view:

  • child gets stuck often and parent ends up telling child words
  • frustrated child not enjoying story as they spend so much time trying to figure out words
Decoding Reading Strategies – there are many for all ages:
  • Write or project it – visually so students “see”.  Example would be air writing.
  • Use phonemic awareness – repeat and speak it.
  • Give time to think about an answer – think aloud.
  • Sort words from a story – locate key words.
  • Follow along – read along and stop to let child fill in what is next.
  • Teach phonics.
  • ABCs – students use a letter of the alphabet for the subject. Exposure to new words.
  • Inference – activity where suitcase filled with objects. Students must describe owner based on clues of what is in suitcase.

Dr. Marie Biggs, reading professor at SPC, came up with a ditty (1995) to sing that she shares with her pre-service teaching students to use in their classes.

I See a Tricky Word

I see a tricky word what can I do?

I see a tricky word what can I do?

I see a tricky word what can I do?

Try a strategy.

Look at the pictures that might help you.

Look at the pictures that might help you.

Look at the pictures that might help you.

Try a strategy.

Use your finger and swoop the word.

Use your finger and swoop the word.

Use your finger and swoop the word.

Try a strategy.

Look at the letters and sound them out.

Look at the letters and sound them out.

Look at the letters and sound them out.

Try a strategy.

Look at the word and chunk it out.

Look at the word and chunk it out.

Look at the word and chunk it out.

Try a strategy.

Skip the word and read to the end.

Skip the word and read to the end.

Skip the word and read to the end.

Try a strategy.

Give yourself a hand for trying so hard.

Give yourself a hand for trying so hard.

Give yourself a hand for trying so hard.

Reading is lots of fun.

Dr. Marie Biggs, College of Education
Dr. Marie Biggs, College of Education

Building on reading concepts in a logical sequence is an essential component of teaching.  In conclusion, developing decoding skills help patterns become recognizable.  Then students they can concentrate on the stories’ essence.

For more info on College of Education Programs, please contact Pat Roper at roper.pat@spcollege.edu or call 727-712-5410.

 

 

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